tr�s diplomatique

Reuters reported today on French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin’™s interview with CNN’™s Christine Amanpour in Paris. Judging by the inflammatory headline and the lede, you’™d never know that de Villepin’™s comments on Iraq, which contained no warning on Washington that I could discern, were quite conciliatory considering the French bashing of comic proportions [...]

Commentary By: Gloria

Reuters reported today on French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin’™s interview with CNN’™s Christine Amanpour in Paris. Judging by the inflammatory headline and the lede, you’™d never know that de Villepin’™s comments on Iraq, which contained no warning on Washington that I could discern, were quite conciliatory considering the French bashing of comic proportions here in the aftermath of France’™s opposition to the invasion.

France warns against hasty U.S. pullout from Iraq

29 Nov 2005 18:38:45 GMT

PARIS, Nov 29 (Reuters) – French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, one of the sharpest critics of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, warned Washington on Tuesday against pulling out troops without regard to regional security.

Villepin, interviewed in Paris by CNN, said a badly planned withdrawal could cause chaos in Iraq, ‘œwhich of course would be disastrous for the whole region.’

The full transcript, however, shows that the lion’™s share of the interview dealt with the recent riots in France. At the conclusion, de Villepan was responding to Amanpour’™s question as to whether he felt vindicated that many of his predictions had come to pass in Iraq. Eschewing the golden opportunity he had been given to gloat, his response is a study in true diplomacy and the antithesis of Bush’™s cowboy rhetoric.

No, I think it is of course a very difficult situation; we have gone a long way to begin to establish democracy in Iraq, but still there is a long way to go. And I think the effort should be important in terms of including all the political forces. After the referendum on the constitution, we are going to have general elections in Iraq on the 15th of December, and I think it is a very important moment in order to try to put together all the political and social forces of the country. We know that there are two risks in Iraq still today. One is the division of Iraq which is of course a nightmare for the region. And the second one is a growing role of terrorism. So I think it is very important for the international community to try to put all these forces together to solve the matter and I think we should support the initiative of the Arab League: try to support a better regroupement, coalition of the different political forces, and also make sure that all the countries of the region work together in order to go forward.

He also speaks at length about the lessons France could learn from the recent riots. He does not once blame the rioters or demonize any group, but assesses the government’™s responsibility and proposes social remedies. Compared to our government’™s response to Katrina, it’™s quite striking.
(more’¦)

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005 by Richard Blair |
Category: Media,Permalink

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